Scientists are working at developing robots that can pick goods from the shelves of a warehouse. Currently, robots can help with order fulfilment and inventory management while humans pick and pack. Eventually, automation will reach the point where the robot can do the picking itself, thus improving accuracy, productivity and efficiency.

This article was first published in the September 15th 2021 issue of Warehouse & Logistics News, subscribe to the magazine by clicking here.

Congratulations to Vanderlande, whose advanced automated AIRTRAX Pocket sorter solution was specified and installed at the 32,159 sq m new central warehouse of Dutch premium retailer de Bijenkorf in Tilburg. While these huge distribution centres (DCs) are rarely open to the public, a new interactive warehouse tool has been developed to take interested viewers behind the scenes and gain a better understanding of daily operations. The videos guide viewers through the various processes, including inbound goods, put-away and picking, outbound e-commerce, sorting and returns.

Well done to TGW which is handling almost five times as many retrofit projects annually compared to ten years ago. A retrofit primarily involves modifying and expanding material flow systems to allow the system operator to optimally address their customers’ needs. More and more TGW are being asked if autonomous technologies such as automated guided vehicles or robots can be integrated into the overall system, as they offer more flexibility and easier scalability.

Good to hear the LYDIA Voice demo app from Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG) is now available for the iOS operating system. LYDIA Voice enables employees to work by voice control with the freedom of their hands and vision. This allows them to concentrate on essential tasks, work faster and more ergonomically, and to also make fewer mistakes.

We salute international warehouse management systems (WMS) specialist Indigo Software which has announced a new partnership with Pivot One, a leading supply chain consultancy solutions company based in Hong Kong. The supply chain and logistics market in Hong Kong is currently undergoing a number of changes that include: increased internet penetration rates, expansion of online grocery, omni-channel retailing, the integration of technology into logistics and warehousing, multi-storey logistics developments, the evolution of last mile logistics and the rise of third-party logistics (3PL). Partnering with Pivot One will allow Indigo Software to more readily take advantage of these local market business opportunities in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in Southern China, with its best-of-breed, Indigo WMS software solution.

It is encouraging to see the gains made in order picking. Developments in the field of robotics may mean even greater efficiencies for order picking. Picking advances Robots bring efficiency

George Simpson
Features Editor

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